Monday, January 23, 2012

Move of the Month: Plow Pose

What better way to beat the Monday blues than with a little bit of yoga.  I chose the Plow for this month's move as I am really loving inverted poses lately.

Truthfully, I used to avoid them like the plague as I wasn't very good at inversions. I have since embraced them, as I realized that there was no possible way I could ever improve my practice if I didn't tackle the poses that I found challenging.

Practicing the Plow Pose offers a long list of benefits including:
  • Stretching the shoulders and spine
  • Reducing stress
  • Calming the mind

As with any other exercise, check with your doc before you begin and keep the following in mind:
  • Avoid this pose if your suffer from any neck injuries, have high blood pressure, are menstruating or are pregnant and new to practice.
  • Choose whichever modification of the pose you feel most comfortable doing.  Always listen to your body.
  • If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop. 

 Plow Pose
  1. Begin on lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides.
  2. As you exhale, contract your abdominals to help you lift your legs over your head and parallel to the floor.  Try to get your back as perpendicular to the floor as possible.
  3. If you are a beginner, place your hands on your lower back for support (as pictured) and try to hold the pose for 1-3 minutes.
  4. If you are at the intermediate or advance level, lower your legs so your toes touch the floor behind you. Interlace your fingers on the floor below your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together and open your chest.  Hold the pose from 1-5 minutes.
  5. No matter which level you choose, lift your tailbone and thighs towards the ceiling and draw your chin away from the chest to soften the throat.
  6. To exit the pose, release the knees into the chest and place your hands on your lower back.  
  7. On an exhalation, contract your abdominal and slowly roll down until your spine and feet are back on the floor.
  8. Take and few deep breaths and relax.

Do you like inverted poses?  Which ones are your favourite?

Stay Healthy,

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